21 May 2015

From souvenirs to souvenirs. Benaki museum shops, Athens,Greece.

Benaki souvenirs
Benakisouvenirs


Summer has well and truly arrived here in Greece, which means tourist shops are out of hibernation, and once again, spreading their wares along the pavements and alleyways, in all their garish glory.

To give them their due, things in this field, are getting better, there are now some tasteful little shops selling local produce geared towards tourists.

Golden olive oil, delicious Greek honey, dried herbs, shiny black olives, not to mention ouzo and the firewater known as raki, are just an example of the marvelous authentic Greek products being taken home as souvenirs.


Greek olive oil
Greek olive oil

Things really have progressed in the Greek souvenir business.

 How much nicer it is, to be presented with a bottle of Greek wine, or a jar of amber Greek honey to spread on the morning toast, than having to pretend you are over the moon about that clockwork bouzouki, or the plastic donkey that came from Santorini via China.


Donkey souvenir
Donkey souvenir


Olive oil, honey, ouzo and wine are perfect presents from Greece, but, they can be bulky and you don’t want to be paying excess baggage at the airport, just because you thought Uncle George would love that five litre bottle of ouzo.


Ouzo
Ouzo


Neither, once home, on opening your suitcases, do you wish to see your clothes marinating in olive oil!

 Holiday time is precious, not to be spent hunting for souvenirs, so, kill two birds with one stone; whilst visiting Greece’s admirable museums buy gifts in the excellent museum shops.

There’s a huge range to choose from; replicas of ancient artifacts, informative books,
plates and bowls depicting Greek scenes, just right for the Greek salad you are going to try your hand at, once you are back home.

Along with the more well-known New Acropolis Museum, The Benaki Museum is not to be missed when visiting Athens.



Benaki Museum Main building
Benaki Museum
Main building


Established in 1930 by Antonis Benakis, the Benaki Museum was the first private museum in Greece, displaying items that Antonis Benakis, had collected on his travels.

Items from prehistoric to modern times, from Europe to Asia made up this extensive collection.

In 2000, a state-of the-art restoration programme, created The New Benaki Museum, in Piraeus Str. Gazi, a very avant- garde area of Athens, leaving the original building, located on Queen Sophias Avenue, to house an entirely Greek collection.

The New Benaki Museum, hosts contemporary art exhibitions, alternative drama performances and a most wonderful shop, in fact, there are actually four Benaki Museum Shops:



Pireos St. Annexe
Pireos St. Annexe


1. Pireos St. Annexe

138 Pireos & Andronikou, Athens

Thursday, Sunday: 10.00-18.00
Friday, Saturday: 10.00-22.00
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Closed


Main Building
 Main Building


2. Main Building

1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., Athens.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9.00-17.00
Thursday, Saturday: 9.00-20.00
Sunday: 9.00-15.00
Tuesday: Closed


 The Hajikyriakos-Ghika Gallery
 The Hajikyriakos-Ghika Gallery 


3.  The Hajikyriakos-Ghika Gallery at:

Kriezotou 3, Athens

Monday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10.00-15.00
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10.00-19.00
Sunday: Closed


Museum of Islamic Art
Museum of Islamic Art


4. Museum of Islamic Art at:

Dipulou 12 & Asomaton, Athens

Thursday-Sunday: 9.00-17.00
Monday-Wednesday: Closed



At any one of these four shops, you can solve all your souvenir problems; there’s something for everyone, for all tastes, all ages and all pockets.

Below are a few things that I would choose as souvenirs from Greece, to give to friends, or indeed, to keep for myself!




Athina
Aphrodite

Replicas of ancient Greek statues
Various sizes
These are the smallest 
Prices start at 40 euros.


Tree of life
paperweight






Left
 Paperweight depicting the tree of life
30 Euros

Paperweight;
 replica of ancient Greek coin from Corinth





Right
Paperweight; replica of ancient Greek coin from Corinth
25 Euros
















Left
Bowl shaped in the form of a roman oil lamp mould

40 Euros
Sarong 35 Euros
Canvas bag 45 Euros
I love the pareo/sarong  and the large canvas bag, above, both showing characteristic Greek faces.
They are both also available in this quirky Greek "Fish Market" pattern.

Sarong 35 Euros
Canvas bag 45 Euros
Sarong 35 Euros

13 Euros


 Left
Cardboard box
Decorated with Yiannis Tsaruchis image.
13 Euros




Below
Glass paperweight with Yiannis Tsaruchis image.
15 Euros











 80 Euros



Above, Mariniere style T-shirts in the colours of Greece, blue and white, showing the national star of Greece, the legendary Melina Mercuri, her best know film being "Never On A Sunday"
Available in long or short sleeves.
From Gautier
 80 Euros


Mini puzzle in a tin
Mini puzzle in a tin

Above; miniature jigsaw puzzle in a tin,
Showing painting by Yiannis Tsaruchis, Greek Painter.
15 Euros
72 Euros



Hand made, colourful wooden puzzle.
  Old-fashioned Greek bride on horseback
72 Euros

paper models.
Paper models.

Colourful paper models.
Children will love these.
10.50 Euros

Silver eye
Silver eye


Silver "Evil eye" 
38 Euros


Wreath
Wreath


Beautiful golden-coloured wreath.
730 Euros
Way out of my price range, but, isn't it amazing?


26 Euros

Above; Small dove figurine.
26 Euros




Above; Box of 7  Notelets in a varied choice of pattern.
7 Euros

55 Euros


Above: A sweet little ceramic dish, decorated with a painting by Aleco Fassianos,
my favourite Greek painter, this, I am going to buy for myself!
55 Euros


If you are planning on visiting the Benaki Museum in Athens this year, go there on a Thursday.
Every Thursday, the Benaki  has free entrance and stays open until twelve midnight.

If you won't be hanging out in Athens this year, no worries, you can still buy from these unique shops,
Order online, they deliver worldwide!



 Pictures from the Benaki website




2 comments:

  1. very interesting Susan, well worth a visit or two !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. very interesting Susan, well worth a visit or two !!

    ReplyDelete

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